Maguire set for Thailand test as Ko praises Irish caddie David Jones

Ronan MacNamara

Leona Maguire (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Leona Maguire tees it up in the Honda LPGA Thailand this week as she looks to get her 2023 firmly up and running.

Maguire arrives following a top-10 at the Tournament of Champions and a solid if unspectacular 40th place finish at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International last week which brought an end to a run of four successive top-10 finishes.

The Cavan native has been drawn in a marquee group alongside former world number one Jin Young Ko and local favourite Wichanee Meechai.

Fresh off her win last week, world number one Lydia Ko will be looking for back to back wins after she held off Aditi Ashok to win in Royal Greens.

There is an Irish connection with the New Zealander who has Irishman David Jones as her caddie full time this year. The change has been relatively seamless for the pair who have worked on and off together in the past.

“Even though we’re like officially starting thing year, I think he was I guess the only caddie that I worked with like because of whatever reasons,” said Ko. “Like in between, like whether it was COVID or I just wasn’t working with anyone at the time.

“So, yeah, it didn’t feel like a new person completely. Obviously that makes the transition easier. Yeah, he played before, so he has that I think player mindset, and he’s pretty positive and I just know that we — I just liked him as a person.

“I knew he was working with other players, and, you know, the opportunity came up where he was available, so that’s why I just decided to, yeah.

“I obviously had a great couple years with Derek, so it’s always I think tough to make a transition, especially when things are going well.

“But I also had a win with Dave, so I knew it was something that we could do. Like we’ve had that chemistry. I’ve been in that position before with him so it didn’t — you know, I already had the confidence that I could be winning tournaments with him.

“I obviously won last week, so it’s definitely a good start, yeah.”

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